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Key needs to get real on Fonterra crisis

Written By: - Date published: 12:11 pm, August 11th, 2013 - 128 comments
Categories: Conservation, disaster, economy, farming, food, International, john key - Tags: , , , , ,

The Fonterra fiasco is turning into a genuine crisis and a huge risk to our economy. The latest this morning:

Fonterra powder recalled in Sri Lanka

Fonterra has been forced to defend its brand once again amid fresh claims milk powder from the company, being sold in Sri Lanka, had been contaminated with radioactive chemicals.

Fonterra today said two batches of Anchor-branded milk powder had been recalled this week under orders from the Sri Lankan government after reports it may have contained traces of the toxic agricultural substance dicyandiamide (DCD). …

(Um – “radioactive”??)  This is on top of the UK Daily Mail’s “pure manure” front page (see image below).

Key’s response has been weak and political. Of overseas critics “They are often people who have an agenda…”. Of critics in general, they are “mischief makers”. It’s his usual bullshit politics, and China isn’t buying it:

Faith in New Zealand ‘shattered’

As New Zealanders move on from Fonterra’s botulism food safety fiasco, disillusioned Chinese people are cancelling their plane tickets to this country.

While Kiwis’ faith in Fonterra is bruised, China’s trust in New Zealand is shattered, say experts in the culture of our biggest export customer.

“The injury is very deep,” says expat David Mahon, a veteran investment adviser in Beijing.

“People have cancelled visits to New Zealand because it is not 100 per cent pure,” says Massey University associate professor of marketing Henry Chung, who has studied the Chinese market for more than 20 years.

“After this event, the Chinese consumer and the (Chinese) government cannot tolerate any more. If anything happens again, any explanation will be considered redundant.

“This is the last chance to get it right.”  …

Mahon says: “New Zealand has been trusted more than nearly every other OECD country. We were in a special category and have been viewed that way since 1949 (the year of the communist revolution).”

“There is an unbroken relationship of trust that New Zealand was different. In the space of 12 months we have managed to unravel that. ”  …

“Every time a product goes out, we need to make sure it is high quality because in the end they [China] don’t view Fonterra as Fonterra, they view it as the whole country.

“One tiny thing can ruin the whole country’s image.”

This is a huge risk to our economy, and politics aside John Key needs to wake the hell up and fix it. Further dismantling environmental protections is the wrong and stupid thing to do – it is “economic sabotage” indeed. Time to get serious about environmental protection and the safe regulation of our exports. Or it could all come crashing down.

pure-manure

128 comments on “Key needs to get real on Fonterra crisis”

  1. tricledrown 1

    Farmers have to take responsibility they are the ones trying to cut corners enviromently and put a political party in power that alloes them to get away with short sighted short term thinking!

  2. infused 2

    lol, it’s all bullshit. Have you heard from the Chinese? They are praising key. Saying their own govt would not have told the population about something like this in such a timely manner. Who gives a shit about these morons over in the UK.

    • r0b 2.1

      Have you heard from the Chinese? They are praising key.

      Your timing is terrible there infused: http://www.frontpage.co.nz/stories.php?storyid=292

      Who gives a shit about these morons over in the UK

      Exporters. The tourism industry. Everyone who isn’t a complete and utter fool.

      • infused 2.1.1

        lol. just cheap hits buddy. That’s all it is. Kick em while they are down.

        • Pascal's bookie 2.1.1.1

          It’s just a flesh wound!

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.1.1.2

          Nothing to see here, then, Infused? A familiar and frankly tiresome refrain.

          It isn’t trivial. If I were a rival milk producer I would have Crosby Textor working on a lot more than a story in the Daily Mail, and the noises coming out of China have been universally negative – and personally critical of the lying Prime Minister.

          Universally negative, unless you can link to the contrary that is.

          • Jackal 2.1.1.2.1

            Key is of course relaxed about Fonterra’s milk products being contaminated with botulism. Says 38 tonnes was only a “lorry load” of whey so a very small amount. He will probably be just as relaxed about Fonterra’s milk powder being contaminated with radioactive chemicals as well. I guess concern about food safety is an aspirational thing. Key isn’t even pretending to give a damn.

            • Shaz 2.1.1.2.1.1

              Don’t worry the GCSB will soon have legislation in place to keep a sharp eye on anyone whose actions would threaten to damage New Zealand’s economic wellbeing. With the custom and practice situation whereby breaking the law is followed by the application of retrospective legalisation we can safely assume an appropriate surveillance regime is already in place /(sarc)

    • Dv 2.2

      Nope Infussed the problem is it is all Cowshit!!!

    • Mike L 2.3

      What’s what the Chinese government would or would not have done got to do with anything?

      The issue is the damage to a major New Zealand brand. When overseas, and domestic, consumers buy NZ milk products, they are buying something that is touted as 100% pure. They are buying the Rolls Royce, so to speak, of dairy products. And they pay top dollar for it.

      Those days could be over —and if you can’t see that as a major issue for NZ’s economy then you should get your head read.

      • paul andersen 2.3.1

        telling dickheads to get their heads read is only going to be a waste of time, like checking out the thought processes of paris hilton.

      • alwyn 2.3.2

        Fonterra is not a brand that is seen by the public in China. The people who know whether the material they are buying comes from Fonterra are the puchasing staff of the large companies that use Fonterra production as a feedstock.
        From the prices offered at the latest Fonterra auction they are not concerned, so they obviously do not see this as being a significant problem for Fonterra or for New Zealand as a whole.

  3. Bill 3

    Not that I favour Capitalism or markets, but why not nationalise the primary dairy sector and subsidise it in similar ways to how the steel industries in various western countries were and focus on profit from the ‘value added’ products that could be manufactured from such a scenario?

    It’s bullshit that Fontera is allowed to trash this country’s environment seeking profit on the export of ‘raw materials’ (milk powder) when dairy could routinelybe made into much higher value products such as high quality cheeses and butters for export.

    Seems to me this could lead to lower dairy prices for the New Zealand consumer (nationalised primary production being subsidised) and much more profit made on ‘value added’ end products. And I dare say, far fewer heads of dairy cattle (and far more jobs) would be required to generate profits comparable to today’s ‘milk powder bonanza’ in such a scenario.

    As a foot note. Fontera’s cheeses and butters at present are absolutely abysmal when compared to unadulterated butters and cheeses. They should be amongst the best in the world given the feeding regime in NZ, and yet…

    • Rogue Trooper 3.1

      subsidies =/= FTA, TPPA etc, although, could be the main race many nations head down. Bearing in mind, without the development of stem-cell burger patties, many hundreds of millions of people are going to have to settle for a protein smoothie or starve to death.

      • Bill 3.1.1

        I get your point re the trade agreements, but is a publicly owned industry that deliberately runs at a loss seen in the same light as a subsidised (ie, ‘cash back’) industry?

        • Rogue Trooper 3.1.1.1

          a lot in those two lines Bill ;). Caught up on The Herald this morning, Hickey pointing out the corporate welfare National have served up this week; over-ruling the Commerce Commission on cutting the cost of ‘copper services’ to households, thus preferring Chorus shareholder profits over an estimated benefit of 140M to the domestic consumer of Broadband, and then there is the smelter- 290M minimum power cost savings for households, or a significant increase in Meridians share value…Still, power loves a vacuum cup.

      • Greywarbler 3.1.2

        Bill
        How do you rate Fonterra’s products abysmal? And what unadulterated butters and cheeses are you using as the standard? I didn’t realise you were a foodie? Can you give us some background.

        • Bill 3.1.2.1

          heh – a while ago, the fact that Fontera added water and ‘things other than cream’ to their butter came up in a thread. Interestingly, the comments drew in some guy who read like an industry spin doctor and who has never been heard of since.

          Anyway. Whitestone is one example of butter that acually tastes like butter – yes, it’s expensive, but fuck it’s nice!

          As for cheeses, I recently had the good fortune to have some cheddars sent in from abroad. And the difference between them – just plain cheddars – and ‘Mainland’ was night and day. Maybe in light of my comment above, it’s woth pointing out, that as well as the basic cheddar the same base had been variously oak smoked, or shot through with cracked pepper, crushed herbs and so on. But you want such cheese in NZ, it’s off to the deli section to part with top dollar with you.

          And then I’m not even going to mention the faux mozzarellas, parmesans and ‘unblue’ blues we get to choose between in the so-called cheese sections.

          And no – I’m not a ‘foodie’…just when I buy butter i want fcking butter and not some approximation of the stuff. Same for cheese. I want it to be what the label suggests it is and (in the case of ‘Mainland’) I don’t want it to crumble at the sight of knife because the b’satds have freeze stored the stuff.

          • Greywarbler 3.1.2.1.1

            What cheese not being good – I watched those two slow talking old guys about taking time. They looked like the genuine thing. It took them a long time to tell you about the process anyway.

            • Chooky 3.1.2.1.1.1

              +++++re NZ Cheeses….interestingly enough, our French visitors to our humble rough, ramshackle New Zealand abode, have been uniformly positive about New Zealand cheeses in their touring around NZ….their comments were unsolicited and I felt they really were genuine ……..some of them have worked in the restaurant business too ( one a sommelier from Geneva, in a multi- starred michelin restaurant)…of course it could just be French charm….but I do think their unsolicited comments were genuine…I think that they also were surprised at the quality of NZ cheeses

              …..so I actually feel a real pride in NZ cheeses! …and I think we should all be proud of them too…(the French also loved our fish )

              ….On the clean pure image…I think it is a good brand ….but where we are let down is in the environmental degradation and depletion of waterways and rivers…THIS HAS to BE CLEANED UP!…otherwise this brand will come back to bite us.

              …the French were quite critical on NZ’s environmental degradation ! They are very perceptive , discerning, sensitive travellers and observers.. and you cannot bullshit them !….take note National!

              • Bill

                Like the butter, cheese is not necessarily made by Fonterra. And I know there are good ‘speciality’ cheeses out there – if you are able and willing to pay for them. But since I was referring to Fonterra’s products and comparing ‘everyday’ cheddar/tasty…

                • Chooky

                  @ Bill…accept your point…however these were budget van travellers…this is the way a lot of French like to travel…but they would have been discerning on the choices of cheese they bought

                  Have not thought about the Fonterra monopoly …but my gut instinct is that it is not a good thing….High quality smaller, distinctive terroir , and cottage industries are best

                  • ropata

                    Try Mahoe Blue from up North… yummm :)

                    • Chooky

                      @ actually I disagree with Bill about the quality of ordinary NZ cheese and butter….some of these French were also eating big block ordinary NZ cheese.. probably cheddar and probably from Fonterra milk…they thought it very good value(and they had a fishing license to fish in our rivers)…they spent months in NZ. NZ butter was something they were also very complimentary about …and not just the French…but also a Japanese from Canada who worked in a high end restaurant.

                      Having travelled in China and Tibet and India with a backpack…and spent days going up Yangtze ( before the dams were built)…..I actually think the Chinese have quite a nerve to criticise NZ dairy products…..because I have never seen such a trashed and revoltingly dirty ,filthy environment …..the overpopulation is absolutely gross!….Tibet has been ransacked and Tibetan people and their culture face annihilation by the Chinese a onslaught.

                      The Chinese are the last who should be criticising….and they know it….NZ is a paradise and a our dairy produce is top of the line according to international chefs….

                      I suggest we should choose our trading and business partners with more care….

                      However we should also be very careful about trashing our own natural environment …rivers and waterways for the almighty dairy dollar…and with overpopulation ….the aesthetics of NZ cant take this without damage to our brand image….

                    • Greywarbler

                      Chooky
                      Don’t be hard on the Chinese, they buy and pay for our product. And the customers there will pay more for ours than theirs – why because we have the name of caring about standards and offering quality and integrity in our food. If we stop trading with countries that have blotted their copy books in some way, only 100% good, then we couldn’t even buy our own produce!

                      We have to be careful about imposing sanctions, look at Sri Lanka I think deliberately and maliciously doing so against us at the moment. We can’t afford to be too interventionist in choosing our trading partners, until they are beyond the bounds of tolerance though.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.2.1.2

            Well, if you want good cheeses apparently the way to get it is to use good quality milk – goats milk.

            “Camembert’s much easier. The first couple of times I entered the awards I used cows’ milk but after hearing the judges comments that the milk wasn’t a high enough quality, I tried goats’ milk and haven’t looked back. I think everyone should try it, you won’t believe the taste compared to what you get in the supermarket,” he says.

            Oh, and make it yourself.

          • Murray Olsen 3.1.2.1.3

            I think Mainland cheeses are pretty good for something mass produced, at least for the price we pay in Oz. I hate Fonterra as a company, but they do better with mass production than anything else I’ve come across.

    • Colonial Viper 3.2

      Bill: you hit the nail on the head. To me you are talking about New Zealand’s ‘real physical terms of trade’.

      If we are going to be shipping our water, soil fertility, human and machine effort offshore, we want to get the absolute maximum back for it (in real terms) as we can.

      • Bill 3.2.1

        Oh, stoopid me. Just remembered that ‘free trade’ is all about finding that niche. And since many of the previously colonised countries are no longer quite the ‘free for all’ in terms of ‘the west’ getting raw product for zip, well…there’s the niche right there! And since the market these days is soooo much more than just Europe and the US, well, the opportunity is that more pronounced, innit?

        • Colonial Viper 3.2.1.1

          I would respond but I actually am not sure what you are saying :P

          Apart from some people thinking that NZ should turn itself into one big mass commodity mediocre quality food farm for the industrialised world?

          Shockingly, it seems like Fonterra management is focussed on the dairy equivalent of shipping raw logs offshore. Its economically sad.

          • Bill 3.2.1.1.1

            You got it. And ‘those people’ are just adhering to one of the basic principles of ‘free trade’ dogma. You must provide something unique. ‘Everyone’ does cheese, butter etc, so why would you do that? Only New Zealand does and can do (bullshit) NZ milk powder though ;-)

          • RJL 3.2.1.1.2

            Shockingly, it seems like Fonterra management is focussed on the dairy equivalent of shipping raw logs offshore.

            Not really. More like the complete opposite.

            Fonterra’s business is predicated around breaking milk into its constituent components and reassembling them into the most valuable configurations.

            It’s actually quite high-tech, but on a massive (and therefore profitable) scale. Although, obviously it’s not immune to disaster. Although, it’s recent disasters are only disasters because of terrible PR from Fonterra and with perhaps a bit of incompetency from government/MPI thrown in.

  4. Rogue Trooper 4

    100% Pure, transparency and safety? Don’t think so!
    Commentary has been that the large cooperative structure (not soviet Matthew ) and scale of dairying operations are essential to the economic viability of NZ dairy industry and exports competing in the international markets.Many importers of NZ diary products are eager for opportunities / rationales to impose trade restrictions, tariffs and to boost their own domestic production.
    As on Q & A this morena, risks of contamination and detection are only likely to increase. Ask Matthew. Key will sort it. / sardonic

  5. It’s not clear what you imagine Key could “do” about this. I suppose the government could pass emergency legislation imposing a term of imprisonment on imbeciles who proclaim a “botulism” risk from Fonterra products – that would certainly lower my blood pressure at least.

    The fact is, Infused is right. Chinese consumers might be annoyed with us, but they’re not going to imagine Chinese food products are safer than ours anytime soon. It’s some bad press and we’re going to have to wear it, but this incident is basically an endorsement of the rigour of the testing regimes in place here. Our ability to carry out ever more sensitive and more accurate tests means we’re going to find things that just weren’t able to be found in previous decades. That has down sides as well as up sides.

    • richard 5.1

      It’s not clear what you imagine Key could “do” about this.

      His government could have mandated and funded a legislative and enforcement regime to ensure this sort of thing (the reports in the Daily Mail, Xinhua) didn’t happen. Both articles are damming of NZ’s environmental and food safety records. So if there wasn’t anything to criticize, there wouldn’t be the articles.

      • UglyTruth 5.1.1

        His government could have mandated and funded a legislative and enforcement regime to ensure this sort of thing (the reports in the Daily Mail, Xinhua) didn’t happen.

        How could it do that? Sometimes the unexpected happens and you’ve just got to cope with it.

      • Greywarbler 5.1.2

        PsychoMilt
        Our testing showed ‘rigor mortis’ not rigours. We didn’t find that there was botulism in the pipe and didn’t know that there was this particular type either, until Australian tests revealed this. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

        Then Fonterra management dithered in confusion about owning up to it when they weren’t sure of what exactly they had and where exactly it had been shipped to. There has to be risk management and cost benefit and that sort of consideration when discussing disclosure but the final point is the sooner the better, take a deep breath, get onto it and have everyone working overtime to make pipe testing, product tracing, safety revision and recall and warnings to all customers with adverts worded as if they were your family.

        And I don’t think infused commented on whether Chinese consumers would replace our product with theirs, I think that was me. You could try reading what I comment as it tends to make more thoughtful and rational points than infused!

    • r0b 5.2

      It’s not clear what you imagine Key could “do” about this.

      (1) Stop dismissing all criticism as politically motivated.

      (2) Stop dismantling environmental protections.

      (3) Re-introduce government regulation and safety monitoring.

      (4) Urgently – let China, Sri Lanka, Russia, the UK, and everyone else know that we have heard their concerns and are responding.

      In short, be a leader, not a dick.

      • Psycho Milt 5.2.1

        Re 1, he is of course a politician himself. But a lot of the criticism actually is from people with an agenda, or from the kind of ill-informed loudmouths who think there’s a “botulism” risk. I don’t feel any more respect for them than Key does.

        Re 2, yes I agree absolutely – the 100% Pure slogan is and always was indefensible bullshit and trying to pretend otherwise just makes us look stupid and untruthful. But I’m thinking here about the Fonterra issue, and to be fair, 100% Pure was equally indefensible bullshit under the last government.

        Re 3, it was Fonterra’s safety monitoring that found this problem. Its discovery is in fact an endorsement and vindication of Fonterra’s quality control and safety monitoring. Whether the clipboard-wielder doing the monitoring is a public servant or not isn’t particularly relevant.

        Re 4, they’re doing that, aren’t they? These are business relationships, ie we have to act appropriately, but we don’t want to volunteer liability that might not exist – that really would be bad for business.

        • miravox 5.2.1.1

          Re 3, are you sure it was Fonterra’s safety monitoring that picked up the contamination or did Fonterra test to confirm the type of bacteria after a problem was picked up by a manufacturer who bought the product?

          I don’t know that there has been enough really clear information around who alerted Fonterra. If it was another manufacturer who tested, then that might explain the delay between manufacture and notification of a problem.

          • Psycho Milt 5.2.1.1.1

            True. I don’t know whether they were testing it at their own instigation or someone else’s.

            • miravox 5.2.1.1.1.1

              Yeah, it’s not very obvious. I had heard somewhere that an Australian company tested on receipt and that’s what lead to the discovery, but I’ve not seen anything to support or dispute that. It would be good if someone (a journalist maybe?) could shed some light on this bit of the puzzle.

      • UglyTruth 5.2.2

        In short, be a leader, not a dick.

        In an adversarial system like the current one, there are almost always ways of spinning a politician’s actions in a negative light. Best not judge the man unless you know all the facts.

      • Populuxe1 5.2.3

        But most of the criticism is politically motivated. Every country leaping on the bandwagon with more and more outrageous accusations is motivated by the opportunity to push their own dairy markets. Radioactivity? Pig dung? Plee-uz! This is almost exactly the same as the British campaign to represent all New Zealand produce as having huge carbon footprints attached because of the distance they’d come (presumably we’re flying our butter there business class on Air NZ or something).
        What is with all the Stockholm Syndrome?

        • felix 5.2.3.1

          “But most of the criticism is politically motivated. Every country leaping on the bandwagon with more and more outrageous accusations is motivated by the opportunity to push their own dairy markets. “

          It’s a bit far-fetched to imagine that none of the criticism is motivated by a desire to ensure food safety.

          But putting that to one side because it’s largely irrelevant, let’s assume you’re right and the entirety of the international response is politically motivated.

          So what?

          Does that mean we ignore it? Pretend it doesn’t affect us? I think that’s what Key is saying/implying – that it’s only “political” so it’s not worth responding to

          • Populuxe1 5.2.3.1.1

            I said “most” and he wouldn’t be responding to us anyway, it would be some targeted response to the overseas markets concerned, which the likelihood of these attacks being politically motivated, probably wouldn’t get much of a public airing, certainly not in China.

            • felix 5.2.3.1.1.1

              You also said every.

              But that’s cool, you’re confident that the great diplomat is sorting it out behind the scenes. And we all know how well that usually works out for us.

    • David H 5.3

      “The fact is, Infused is right. Chinese consumers might be annoyed with us, but they’re not going to imagine Chinese food products are safer than ours anytime soon.”

      Bullshit!

      Because if you Read this article from the XINHUA news you would find a very different story,

      http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2013-08/10/c_132619357.htm

      • Bill 5.3.1

        Via ‘the guardian’ The graphic of so many Chinese newspaper front pages kinda says all that need to be said, but the opinion is worth reading too http://www.danwei.com/are-you-still-prostrating-yourself-before-foreign-milk-powder/

        The vast majority of Chinese daily newspapers yesterday featured the massive New Zealand milk powder product recall as a front page story, most as either the leading headline or as a large and prominent graphic feature. The imagery is very much that of a scare campaign, with dozens of papers using evocative images of microscopic bacteria. The cover of the Xiamen-based West Strait Morning Post even showed the grim reaper lurking behind the recalled products. The New Zealand flag was also prominent on some front pages.

      • Psycho Milt 5.3.2

        It is always possible that I’m overestimating the intelligence of the Chinese middle class, but if they’re stupid how did they get to be middle class?

        People who live in countries where corruption is the norm know very well how much they can trust local health and safety regulations to protect them. Here, where corruption isn’t the norm, health and safety regulations can be trusted (with the caveat that nothing except death comes with a 100% guarantee). Which is why our testing is thorough enough and sensitive enough to find even very low-level threats like this and publicise them. There will be some people lacking the intellectual horsepower to figure that out, but most can manage it.

        • Colonial Viper 5.3.2.1

          I don’t think it’s an issue of people being “intelligent” or being “stupid”. It is simply a case of the NZ made brand value being eroded and giving away market advantage to American, Canadian, Australian product.

          • Chooky 5.3.2.1.1

            @ CV…not to mention Russian dairy product, which i think is rapidly developing and potentially huge …bad NZ publicity for dairy could be a boon for them

        • miravox 5.3.2.2

          “if they’re stupid how did they get to be middle class?”
          Really?

          – Born to it
          – Knew the right people
          – Fluked a test or interview
          – Good looks
          – Married well
          – Took the right courses
          – Went to the right school
          – Had the right postcode
          – Had and ability to sell themselves, or something else
          – Managed their addictions

          … just for starters and just like most other places

          • Blue 5.3.2.2.1

            Good parenting
            Hard work
            Goal oriented
            Respect for success not contempt
            Took the right courses – and passed them
            Passed a test or interview through preparation and study
            Attended any school regularly even if they didn’t like it
            Took advantage of their strengths regardless of what they were
            Never settled for just adequate
            FIFY
            “Married well” wtf does that mean?

            • miravox 5.3.2.2.1.1

              Blue,
              You missed the point – you’re talking about ‘intelligent’ people that deserve to be in the middle class (some did all those things and are not middle class, btw), I’m talking about people who may be ‘stupid’ who are also in the middle class – just answering PM’s question – nothing more, nothing less.

              Married well? – intelligent, middle class, doesn’t hit women, not a gambler, loves his/her kids and has the skills to play the middle class game etc, etc, .

            • Puddleglum 5.3.2.2.1.2

              Hi Blue,

              Do people ‘choose’ to make good choices? If so, do they also ‘choose’ to choose to make good choices?

              Personal ‘choice’ is a woefully inadequate notion to explain why people do what they do. It explains nothing. It is simply a re-description of what someone has done.

              That’s why instructing or enjoining people to ‘make better choices’ is almost entirely hopeless as advice – whether at the personal or political level.

            • miravox 5.3.2.2.1.3

              Also
              ” what they were”?

              Bit of a slip-up in you’re writing there Blue, assuming it’s not intentional to think of people in the working classes as things rather than people.

          • Murray Olsen 5.3.2.2.2

            I like miravox’s list better. In my experience, it seems more accurate.

    • David H 5.4

      “It’s not clear what you imagine Key could “do” about this. ” Well for one he could grow a some balls and admit we fucked up. But we are talking Shonkey here and he would not admit it was sunny outside with out 10 weathermen to tell him what he wanted to hear, and it was the height of summer.

  6. tinfoilhat 6

    Read all about it…….. Labour cheerleader tries to land a hit on crap PM by bad mouthing NZ.

    • Rogue Trooper 6.1

      “Early Edition”.

    • r0b 6.2

      The post is about a genuine risk to our biggest export earner. I’m genuinely calling on Key for some leadership here. But you kiddies keep playing politics if you like.

      • BM 6.2.1

        Dirty pipe in factory from last year.
        No one dead, no one sick
        Nothing to do at all with the environment.

        Tinfoilhat makes a valid point it does seem certain individuals have no issue trying to throw NZ under the bus while hoping some of the fall out lands on and damages Key.

        Who cares about the collateral damage as long as Key and National look bad.

        • r0b 6.2.1.1

          Nothing to do at all with the environment.

          Pure manure. Did you even read the Daily Mail piece? How much do you suppose that one article cost us in tourism revenue? Fonterra has opened a can of worms that includes all aspects of our environmental record.

          Who cares about the collateral damage as long as Key and National look bad

          The collateral damage is happening right now in various countries round the world. I want Key to do something about it.

          • BM 6.2.1.1.1

            OK Rob what should he do

            Take over Fonterra?
            Promise to shoot the individual that didn’t clean the pipe correctly.?
            Personally promise to oversee and check every one who works in a dairy factory and carries a pipe cleaner.

            What do you suggest.

            • Colonial Viper 6.2.1.1.1.1

              Tell you what BM, you vote for a Left govt next time around and we’ll let you know.

              For starters I think that a corporate transparency programme is required. Secondly we need to repair our international environmental image by strengthening water quality and environmental requirements around the country. Thirdly the food industry must agree best practice principles around the detection and communication of similar problems.

            • r0b 6.2.1.1.1.2

              Please see comment 5.2 above.

              • BM

                1) Stop dismissing all criticism as politically motivated.

                (2) Stop dismantling environmental protections.

                (3) Re-introduce government regulation and safety monitoring.

                – Most if not all of the criticism is politically motivated

                – I have no problem with changes to the RMA, a balance has to be struck between business and the environment, I see changes moving us back towards the center.

                – How would a new Ministry of safety monitoring stop that pipe from been incorrectly sterilized.

                All those countries moaning are environmental shit holes if they can source their food from a safer. cleaner place, they should use them..

                • r0b

                  Most if not all of the criticism is politically motivated

                  What are the political motivations of China and the Daily Mail in this case?

                  I have no problem with changes to the RMA, a balance has to be struck between business and the environment, I see changes moving us back towards the center.

                  The current “balance” has left our waterways screwed and our brand labelled “pure manure” – is that going to keep working for us do you think?

                  Who would a new Ministry of safety monitoring stop that pipe from been incorrectly sterilized.

                  If you meant “how” then it may not have stopped it, but if it didn’t it would have picked the problem up sooner and been a damn sight more honest about it than Fonterra was.

                  • BM

                    What are the political motivations of China and the Daily Mail in this case?

                    See comment 7.

                    • r0b

                      Ooookay then. Well byeeee, I’m off for a swim.

                    • Populuxe1

                      To try and boost the flailing dairy production in China (post malimide) and the UK, obviously. You’d have to be dense not to spot that immediately.

            • Murray Olsen 6.2.1.1.1.3

              Imagine that Tame Iti or Hone Harawira were Fonterra executives. I’m sure that will help you think of a few things Key could do. Of course, they’d be at the other extreme to keeping government hands off the sacred market, but you could go somewhere in between.

          • pollywog 6.2.1.1.2

            I reckon he should put a video out of himself mixing up a batch of baby milk, skulling it back then saying “still a 100% pure”.

            Then do a cheesy photoshoot of himself and a few asian, pasifikan,sri lankan and white babies with baby milk moustaches.

            • BM 6.2.1.1.2.1

              Babes would work better than babies.

              • pollywog

                Well yeah he could also whip up a bottle of formula for some Asian with huge milf like status.

                China would love to see our PM humble himself by serving an Asian mother…

                Charm offensive is what’s called for i reckion.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Don’t ask Key to do it, because it’s likely to end up plain vanilla flavour “offensive”

                  • pollywog

                    Plain vanilla works for me.

                    The gov’t should be buying a shitload of Chinese print media and running full page ads of Key doing what he does best…Making a dick of himself at our expense and sucking big money cock.

          • Populuxe1 6.2.1.1.3

            Why? Because tourists come here to inspect the pipes of our dairy factories? Reaching somewhat.

            • Colonial Viper 6.2.1.1.3.1

              Do tourists come here to examine dairy farm effluent overflows? OK probably not, but it is building into an image problem. Not sure if you understand the idea of brand value, both in terms of NZ Dairy and NZ in general, but your comment suggests that you don’t.

              • Populuxe1

                I do, but I think you are grossly overexaggerating the average tourist’s interest in the minutae of such things. Most of them will just want to see where The hobbit was filmed and do some bungee jumping. Their travel agents will inform them accordingly. Indeed, the vast majority are probably too busy watching Hollyoaks to even notice.

                • felix

                  “I do, but I think you are grossly overexaggerating the average tourist’s interest in the minutae of such things.”

                  Then you don’t really understand brand value at all. It’s not the minutae, it’s the big picture. And the big picture is getting worse.

            • Puddleglum 6.2.1.1.3.2

              Many tourists come here seeking a country that they believe has prioritised its environment over its economy.

              For at least a decade, however, European tourists – especially younger German tourists – have been expressing criticism of New Zealand’s environmental practices.

              Have a read of this article to get the general sense of the role that New Zealand’s appeal and ‘brand’ has in encouraging people to travel half way around the world.

              You might also want to read sections 3.1 (‘Principled Approach’) and 3.2 (‘Need a Crisis?’) of this MfE study on tourism.

              • Populuxe1

                That’s nice, but of course they don’t have to live here. Interesting they are exactly the sort of tourist who don’t bring the big revenues in with them. If they want relatively untouched wilderness, they will still have to come here.

                • felix

                  And what about those of us who do “have to live here”?

                • Interesting they are exactly the sort of tourist who don’t bring the big revenues in with them.

                  That is too simplistic an analysis.

                  Here’s the Tourism New Zealand summary stats for the German market. Note the long length of stay (49.4 days) and expenditure per visit of $3,109 and total revenue of $191m. Spend per visit is well ahead of the main markets – Australia ($1,495), UK ($2,493) and US($2,490). It is less than the Japanese market ($3,859) but the German market has outperformed Australian, UK and US markets over the recent past in terms of maintaining visitation.

                  And here’s the same stats for China – three times the number of visitors, slightly higher per visit spend ($3,418) and higher overall value ($672m). But also note the short length of stay, especially in the holiday market (as opposed to other categories of visitor).

                  The spend from German tourists is a lot more dispersed through the regions, while Chinese tourists are still primarily following the standard routes. I’m not an economist but obviously leakage from regional and national economies often occurs with more packaged tours that make use of international hotel chains, etc..

                  In many ways (i.e., to balance a range of outcomes for NZ), the German market may be one to aim to increase – high enough expenditure, greater diffusion (if that’s a good thing?), environmentally aware.

                  But, of course, with either the German or Chinese markets, the Fonterra effect is unlikely to be positive.

                  • Greywarbler

                    Puddleglum
                    Great stats and surprising. Japanese and Germans and Chinese are most interested in us. People we were not on good terms with have now become our friends and our old friends…

                    • Hi Greywarbler,

                      My understanding is that Germans – as a generalisation – are very interested in getting to know the ‘real’ New Zealand (for want of a better term) and may see their trip as a once in a lifetime event. They are particularly interested in its environment and environmental ‘cred’.

                      The Japanese ‘market’ is often said to have ‘matured’ – which is to say that increasing proportions of people from Japan are engaging in ‘free, independent travel’ because they feel comfortable enough now about the country and the ‘ease’ of visiting it.

                      The Chinese (and Korean) ‘markets’ are still in their early days and so still quite reliant on pre-packaged, pre-sold tours (hence the small length of stay). One assumption/prediction is that the Chinese ‘market’ will adapt and ‘mature’ quite quickly in terms of travel arrangements.

                      Australians remain, by far, the greatest number of international tourists in New Zealand but, in terms of New Zealanders’ perceptions of what an international tourist is, they ‘slip under the radar’. They’re often staying with your neighbour – or you – and therefore don’t ‘feel’ like tourists (and don’t spend like tourists! – though they do a lot of repeat visits).

                    • Greywarbler

                      Puddleglum
                      EMI. (Even more interesting.) I did some study on tourism so have an idea of what is going on in the country and formed some opinions which your stats have fed into. I am also interested the distance that Scandinavians will travel to come here in increasing numbers. And that bit about Germans looking at our environmental cred with a discerning or even critical eye – I have noticed that they speak up about unsatisfactory things they see.

                      Some thoughts – Germans have travelled here from way back of course. My great grandmother was one through Oz, and was registered as an alien all her life. The settlements of Ranzau and Sarau in Nelson region, and Dannevirke up north are some of the stakes in the country put in by Germans and Danish.

                      And there is quite a lot of NZ interaction with Berlin, I understand it is relatively affordable to live there for musicians, and is quite a vibrant place in the genre. So could NZ be but individuals ten to be under the radar for grants, loans etc, national pride and support. We are actually bursting with vitality but too often only from those squeezing out between dullards toes. Think the giant foot in Monty Python.

                      One thing I think we have to watch with Chinese and Japanese tourism is the closed circle profitablility approach. The country of origin of the tourists set up the businesses in NZ that handle the foreign tourists from that country or area, and provide all the services, and reap all the profits which don’t show on the credit side of the NZ national ledger, but goes to the debit side listed as overseas investment or withdrawal.

                      And people coming from Australia. How many of them are true Australians and how many are NZ living and working in Oz visiting ‘Home’? I wonder if some of them may be coming here for long enough to comply with requirements of residency so they can get operations they can’t afford in Australia. Seeing they get so little services from that fair and lucky country now, since John Howard (that name again) brought in the infamous 2001 discriminatory tax against us. Now Kevin Rudd’s brother who is or wants to be an independent, is raising the unfair treatment of Kiwis in Oz.

                    • Yes, in all sorts of ways, the German ‘market’ is responsive to New Zealand’s positioning, as this Trade and Enterprise blurb notes:

                      Germany’s very positive perception of New Zealand with regards to nature and the environment, and the successful integration of the New Zealand story in marketing, has seen a number of New Zealand manufacturers of high value consumer goods achieve good brand recognition in Germany. These include outdoor clothing, children’s clothing and buggies, and natural cosmetics.

                      There is a growing group of young and middle-aged German consumers who are happy to pay higher prices for high quality products that are manufactured following sustainable guidelines and are different from mainstream products on offer. For New Zealand companies that know how to leverage these strengths, there are significant opportunities in the German market.

            • felix 6.2.1.1.3.3

              “Why? Because tourists come here to inspect the pipes of our dairy factories? Reaching somewhat.”

              Sure is. Good thing no-one ever even came close to saying it then, eh?

              Phew!

              • Populuxe1

                I think I understand now, Felix. You are so tone deaf and/or Aspie that you interpret every rhetorical flourish, sarcastic jibe and hyperbole as a serious argument. Tres funny.

                • felix

                  I didn’t interpret it as a serious argument at all, Pop.

                  I took it for what exactly it was; an obvious attempt to make someone else’s argument look ridiculous by misrepresenting it entirely.

                • Pasupial

                  @ Pplxl

                  I can’t say that I interpret anything you say as a serious argument. However I do wish you wouldn’t keep referring “malamide” (eg in a comment above, so far nested that there’s no reply option); even for one with such a blatant disregard for facts as yourself, that’s irritating (“melamine” is a plastic used to boost protein counts in chemical testing by fraudulent scum, “malamide” is ignorant bullshit).

                  By the way; you should also refrain from using “Aspie” as an insult. I don’t expect you to have concern for others’ feelings, but if anyone on this thread would score highly on the DSM-V autism spectrum, it would be you.

  7. BM 7

    I have a suspicion this article was supplied to the Mail online by the Green party.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      I blame Communist China

      • Rogue Trooper 7.1.1

        Heh :-D (or the local lasseiz-faire, market-driven ideology of the New Zealand government and exporters that the Chinese state media identify).

        • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.1

          I hear botulism bacterium are very responsive to the demands of the free market :D

    • paul andersen 7.2

      I have a suspicion that you are a greedy ,selfish , shortsighted, sociopath, could be wrong though,,,, lets ask the audience .

  8. Ennui 8

    I am past commenting on or criticizing Shonkey, it is a waste of time: I am just going to vote the fekker out and spit on his memory with all the contempt that is his due.

  9. Treetop 9

    “Key needs to get real on Fonterra crisis”

    Key cannot afford to have magical thinking when it comes to the reputation of NZ.

    I am not sold by the solgan “100% pure New Zealand” which applies to tourism.

    “Trying for 100% pure New Zealand” is a bit more realistic and someone needs to speak to the PM.

    At least then a person can ask an intelligent question or two, about what is valued in NZ.

    • Skinny 10.1

      Yes and I’m sure you would have advised Fonterra the same Matthew, thats delay any release of information since there was no threat to life. Obviously there not one of your clients. Have their account before have you?          

    • Colonial Viper 10.2

      John Key should announce broadest possible inquiry with full powers to compel evidence.

      Just crank up the GCSB machine, that’s what it’s there for, all plant management and executive emails/phone meta-records.

    • Paul 10.3

      Your great neoliberal capitalism is on the process of destroying the goose that laid its eggs.
      Any qualms about being a propagandist for the wealthy corporates and their political puppets?

  10. I agree with Matthew 11

    I envisage Key going up in the polls
    Every fiasco another % rise for the Nats
    So therefore
    a: The Great unwashed likes inept lying corrupt leaders
    b: The are not being informed
    c: Shearer

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      A political party must be backed by mass movements, and it must have its finger on the pulse of the nation. As far as I can see, Labour currently has neither.

      • Chooky 11.1.1

        Yup…it would be different though …if Cunliffe was leader instead of Shearer…might then get some traction.

    • Blue 11.2

      The ‘great unwashed’ vote Labour so no votes lost there.
      They are fully informed but don’t understand the big words, hence they vote Labour, so no votes lost there.
      Shearer – brilliant man, inspiring leader.
      Seriously you need to stop blaming others for the lack of traction.
      “Through action or inaction, its always your fault”

      • Skinny 11.2.1

        Hey Blue Arse Fly home from Nelson after eating Key’s bulshit all weekend are ya? That bulshit will end in 2014. I see the dilemma of having to prop up ACT to get to 5%. Slippery gave them 1% with RMA changes. We are on to him, I’ve got hearing like a hound! Yes be worried cobber, previous unwashed non voters are coming out to vote Nact out.

  11. Blue 12

    Thanks Skinny, the lack of class ( and correct spelling, grammar and any hint of education) in your response merely confirms my thoughts. But good luck being taken seriously if you wet your pants at those that disagree with you. Grow up laddie.

    • Skinny 12.1

      How bout I write in txt speak you condescending ‘sad’ old man! You Remuera boys & ya club of smug tossers really make me sick. I bet you like the tax payer handouts for private schools. I live in a very good area gained thru honest toil, plenty of academic’s vote L/G on my street. Why? Because unlike yourself, they have a fucking social conscience! Btw I post from my iPhone usually on the run, and you Blue old school PC I bet.

      • Psycho Milt 12.1.1

        Btw I post from my iPhone…

        Gosh, an iPhone! What a smart, free-thinking, creative and up-to-the-minute technology connoiseur you must be to have one of those.

      • Greywarbler 12.1.2

        Skinny
        Oh blah blah you’re bragging rights ran out before you got started. You talk like a loser.

      • Blue 12.1.3

        So Skinny the great champion of the underclass needs to boast about an iPhone, why ? Why don’t you sell it and give the proceeds to a good cause ? Or does your “social concsience” not stretch that far?

        Sent from my iPhone

    • Pascal's bookie 12.2

      “Thanks Skinny. The lack of class, (or correct spelling, grammar and any hint of education), in your response merely confirms my thoughts. But good luck being taken seriously if you wet your pants at those who disagree with you. Grow up laddie. ”

      UR welcome

  12. Wairua 13

    I’m with Skinny – exposing the conservative trolls on this site.

    • Murray Olsen 13.1

      Me too. There are too many of them and they only ever say anything interesting by accident.

  13. Crystal Voyager 14

    http://www.nme.com/nme-video/youtube/id/hGV_cMtnsHI

    Original song by New Zealand songwriter Dave Nash and his band, about milk giant Fonterra and greed.

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